'Wish Upon' Cast Interview: Ryan Phillippe and Joey King on Playing Father/Daughter In Horror Flick

Wish Upon Ryan Phillipe Joey King Sherilyn Finn 

When teen Clare Shannon (Joey King) finds a mysterious box that promises to fix all of her life’s problems, she has no idea what horror she’s really unleashing for herself and loved ones.

Recently CineMovie.tv got to participate in a roundtable discussion with Joey King and her on-screen dad Ryan Phillippe, the stars of WISH UPON to talk about the film’s themes, their reaction to the story, real life bullying and how they related to their characters in the movie.

The duo enthusiastically shared the following about their experience on the picture!

What was your reaction to the story in WISH UPON?


Joey: When you read something and you immediately get goosebumps reading it, you immediately know it’s gonna be good. The story was amazing. I love how we have kind of a crazy twist at the end and you didn’t expect it coming. When you read something sometimes you have an idea of how it’s gonna end but this I had no idea.


Ryan: For me I was surprised how much I liked it. It was send to me-- okay it’s a thriller about high school kids and I’m gonna play a dad. I read it and had such a good time reading the script. Also the fact that I have a seventeen year old daughter and I had the sense that like she could watch this movie with friends. Most of the things I’ve done she couldn’t. It reminded me of the movies I started out in like ‘I Know What You Did Last Summer’. It kind of felt like a throwback to those 90’s thrillers that are scary but not too blood and guts. Had the right amount of humor and scares and I liked the morality kind of take of maybe you should be happy with what you already have . It’s a lesson the characters learn.

Wish Upon Ryan Phillipe


How was Ryan as your movie dad?


Joey: Ryan was amazing! Great scene partner. I remember we had a very emotional scene but when someone gives you a lot of emotion when it’s not their close up, it means a lot. Ryan is supposed to play the sax in the movie but he’s really bad! Good at pretending and it shows how talented he is in being able to look like he’s an amazing saxophone player when he’s really just atrocious.


Did any spooky things happen when you were on set at all?

Joey: Sydney who plays one of my friends swears she saw a ghost on set but I cannot confirm or deny whether that happened but all I know is if that a ghost comes to a scary movie set it means the movie will be successful.


Ryan, you play a blue-collar dad in this, can you talk about your inspiration to get into the role?

Ryan: I grew up lower middle class and I worked a paper route, worked at a grocery store collecting carts and cleaned the aisles, I worked at a video store, I worked at a restaurant called rascals that was a seafood restaurant. The video store got held up one night that I was working in it. It was like wow! I did do some odd jobs. I knew the territory, I grew around those who didn’t have much money and that was my lot in life as well. My character reminds me of my uncle that came back from Vietnam just messed up from that. You do draw on some of those elements. Jonathan is a character whose growth is very much stunted by the death of his wife. He’s really only capable of keeping the lights on and taking care of his daughter. He’s a guy who’d restricted emotionally. I understand that type of person.


As a parent how do you protect your children from bullying like your on-screen daughter experiences in the film?
Ryan: You hope it doesn’t happen. With my children it hasn’t. They know some kids who have experienced and been victims of bullying. I think it’s so weird now because bullying was so much more overt in my generation. We didn’t have the social media way of picking on people. That’s the part that’s a lot more difficult to navigate as a parent.

Wish Upon Joey King Sydney Park Shannon Purser


Joey, can you talk about playing relatable and real teenagers going through something supernatural while still feeling like real-life kids?

Joey: I don’t know anyone really going through anything supernatural cause that is scary. I wouldn’t want it jumping onto me. I think that Clare, isn’t really a normal teenager, the only constant in her life is that she keeps going to school which is good for her. Education over demons. The box just messes her up, it seduces her and takes her over. By the time she realizes what she’s doing, she’s gone and addicted. She’s willing to do anything to protect that box no matter what it is. I think she loses her sense of normality and goes off the deep end.


WISH UPON opens in theaters July 14th!

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